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Jazz Fest Stars Give Young Fans 'Greatest Day'

Several younger listeners get the chance to meet their idols.

The Carefusion Newport Jazz Festival has quite the refined audience, overall. It's an older crowd, mostly, a group that's known to sit quietly, and respectfully, while enjoying some of the genre's greatest names.

But that doesn't mean the music lacks youthful fans. Backstage this weekend, several members of the younger generation enjoyed once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to interact with their favorite jazz heroes. Here's a few of the scenes we witnessed:

-Young musicians from KIPP Amp Academy in Brooklyn huddled around Dave Brubeck in the media tent. This was the group's first time coming down for the festival, but hopefully not the last, according to founding principal Ky Adderly. Adderly said the school arranged for meetings with Brubeck, George Wein and others prior to arriving. "Hopefully one day some of them will play here," he noted as they hurried off for the next performance.

-Guilford, CT, sixth grader Max Conner posing for a photo with his jazz-pop idol, Chris Botti. Conner's mom, Donna Von Oehsen, said her son first saw Botti perform at the Newport Jazz Festival two years ago. Afterward, he knew he wanted to take up the instrument himself, so he petitioned his school with a letter about how he'd been inspired by Botti's performance and hoped to be "as good as him" one day.

-20-year-old Caitlin Massey, of Warwick, getting one of those kisses that are so good, you never want to wash your cheek again. Massey, a devoted fan of Jamie Cullum, has tried for years to meet the jazz star following his shows. On Saturday, that wish came true when the Englishman walked over to her following a round of interviews. Cullum kissed his young fan, then accepted a homemade mix tape from her, a gift he encourages fans to bring along to shows. "I did have the biggest smile slapped on my face for the rest of the night," Massey noted. "The kiss on the cheek was the cherry on top."

Take a look at the photos of these fans, and of the performances from Sunday's lineup, in the gallery above. And, as always, feel free to upload your own photos from the show by clicking "add."

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